July 30, 2008

DoT plans separate 3G policy for CDMA players

The Department of Telecom is planning to formulate a separate policy for third generation services by CDMA operators.

The move comes as a relief to CDMA players including Reliance Communication and Tata Teleservices which had expressed concern that the proposed 3G policy had no mention of spectrum allocation for CDMA operators. Until now DoT’s draft policy guidelines had specified plans to auction spectrum only for GSM-based cellular services providers.

However, DoT has put up a new note for approval by the Ministry of Communication which mentions auctioning spectrum for CDMA players in the 450 Mhz and 800 Mhz frequency band.

This means that seventy one million CDMA mobile subscribers can also look forward to availing third generation mobile services.

The 800 Mhz and 450 Mhz bands are frequencies used by CDMA operators globally for 3G services. Third generation mobile services promises to bring high speed data connectivity on handsets apart from improving the quality of voice calls.

Consumers will be able to get services like streaming video, mobile TV and community specific value added services.

While GSM based operators will evolve to using the WCDMA technology for offering this service, CDMA players will use the EVDO technology.

Each of these technologies operates best in a specific frequency band.

“Spectrum shall be auctioned in the 450 Mhz band and in 800 Mhz band for EVDO services when it becomes available, for which guidelines shall be issued separately,” said the DoT note.

Reliance Communications, Tata Teleservices, Sistema backed Shyam Telelink and State owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd are the major CDMA operators in the country.

[source]

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